HEADİNG TURKEY

Erdogan warns pro-Kurdish party against backing PKK

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'I repeat my call to the party that has difficulty in distancing itself from terrorist PKK, make your choice: democracy or terrorism,' the president says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) not to side with terrorism or else bear the consequences.

Erdogan’s remarks came Wednesday after reports of support for the terrorist PKK group by some HDP members emerged. Senior HDP figures such as Co-Chairwoman Figen Yuksekdag visited the family of a terrorist killed in anti-PKK operations and some other HDP deputies were accused of being involved in getting supplies shipment to PKK terrorists in the east.

The president lashed out at such politicians for making things difficult for the Turkish security forces who were fighting against terrorist organizations and their affiliates.

Addressing a joint press conference with European Council President Donald Tusk at the Presidential Palace in capital Ankara, Erdogan, without taking the name of the HDP, said: “I repeat my call to the party that has difficulty in distancing itself from the terrorist PKK: Make your choice. Do you side with democracy or terrorism?”

Erdogan said that the HDP must choose between fight via politics or via weapons, bombs, violence and blood.

“Even though I never agree with your policies or discourse, I will respect your stance and support you till the very end if you side with democracy. But if you stand beside terrorism, you must be ready to pay the price,” he warned.

The president said that the government would do what the law required in the face of recent terrorist attacks, saying: “Nobody is allowed to disturb the people of Turkey.”

Last Sunday, 16 Turkish soldiers were martyred in Hakkari province, which was the deadliest incident since the PKK renewed its terrorist campaign at the end of July.

Erdogan described it as a duty for the state and its security forces to fight against terrorism and terrorists. Turkish security forces have responded to renewed PKK attacks by launching airstrikes on PKK bases in northern Iraq and the army has sent ground troops across the border.

About the upcoming early election in Turkey on Nov. 1, he said that the polls was the “place of payoff in politics, not the streets”.

“Do you want to bring into account the party [HDP] whose politics, tone or stance disturbs you?” Erdogan asked.

The president also warned the Turkey’s Kurds that the terrorist PKK group could not be their representatives. “No illegal act could ever exist together with politics,” he said.

“Turkey needs responsible politicians, not those provocateur ones,” he continued. He also condemned the attacks on HDP party offices across Turkey and their perpetrators.

Across Turkey, three nights of protests followed Sunday’s PKK attack in southeast Turkey.

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